MANZINI: Protesting unemployed students who hardly afford a decent meal were ordered by Judge Maxine LaNgwenya to pay E50,000.00 bail.
Eswatini, a tiny Kingdom situated in Southern Africa has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, Magistrates including Judges are appointed by the King through the Judicial Service Commission(JSC).
The students were arrested and charged by the police for alleged malicious damage to property in the midst of protests seeking justice for Thabani Nkomonye who was allegedly killed by the police.
Reached for comments, Wandile Dludlu, the Secretary General of the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO) said it has become a norm for the King to use institutions of justice to persecute those who were expressing themselves on the way the country was governed.
The Secretary General said these institutions include the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP), the Police, Judges and Correctional Services among others.
“As PUDEMO, we are not surprised with the decision of the court to grant the students who are financially struggling and not employed such huge amount as bail. This is part of a mission by this brutal and cruel regime, naturally, a Judge must provide justice to the poor. But we have seen cases where the Judicial system is used as a tool of injustice to the poor in defense of the rich and powerful in the society. Here are ordinary young people who are saying “Justice to Thabani” but look at the response from Mswati’s government so far? Harsh, violence, beatings, arrests, heavy fines and persecution. Despite this, we are saying to the students, the struggle continues” ,said the PUDEMO Secretary General.
Meanwhile, the Swaziland National Union of Students(SNUS) confirmed that its Secretary General Bafanabakhe Sacolo, Siphosethu Mavimbela, Khumbuza Nxumalo were granted E50,000.00 bail.
In press statement dated 25th May 2021, Colani Maseko, the Students Union President said the students movement remained unshaken by the systematic elements that sought to demoralize the call for justice.
“The Student movement remains unshaken against any systematic element that seeks to demoralize the call for justice” ,he said through the statement.
Students Union Secretary General Bafanabakhe Sacolo